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CHICAGO – Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, along with officials from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS), Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and other City departments and sister agencies today announced additional resources for residents to find relief from extreme heat this week. Beginning today through Friday, July 10, residents will have access to cooling centers, cooling buses, Chicago Park District splash pads and more to get relief from high temperatures and humidity that can posea health and safety threat. Residents can find a list of all cooling resources available this week here or by calling 3-1-1.
“Every resident deserves safe shelter from the summer heat. Through this coordinated, collaborative and comprehensive citywide response, our departments and agencies are working around the clock this week to ensure that resources are readily accessible for every Chicagoan,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “Our City services are only as strong as the residents of this city, which why we need everyone to do their part and look out for each other. If any resident is in need of help or knows someone who needs relief from the extreme heat, please don’t think twice about calling 3-1-1.”
OEMC is working closely with the National Weather Service (NWS) in Chicago to monitor weather conditions. To receive the latest updates on weather conditions and emergencies, residents can register for the City’s Emergency Alert System at NotifyChicago.org. An extreme heat warning will be issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) when the heat index is expected to exceed 105°-110°F for at least two consecutive days.
“Although an extreme heat warning has not been issued by the National Weather Service at this time, OEMC is dedicated to keeping Chicagoans safe from the dangerous heat conditions and reminds everyone to stay hydrated and seek shade when possible,” said OEMC Executive Director Rich Guidice. “As always, we will continue to monitor weather conditions, and provide alerts concerning this week’s high temperatures as they become available.”
As part of this week’s precautionary measures, DFSS has activated their six cooling centers, open through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
The City of Chicago’s heat plan includes new measures to protect against the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic while also ensuring every resident can safely cool off. Per public health guidance, DFSS has implemented deep cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and reconfigured cooling areas to accommodate physical distancing that enables visitors to stay at least six feet apart. Other protocols include wearing a face covering.
Residents can also find relief in any of the City’s more than 75 Chicago Public Library locations and more than 30 Chicago Park District fieldhouses.
DFSS is also activating its six Regional Senior Centers as cooling areas for seniors to find relief from heat. The Renaissance Court Senior Regional Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. while the remaining senior regional centers are open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Friday.
In addition to the cooling centers and senior centers listed above, the City will expand citywide cooling resources by utilizing Chicago Park District facilities and 50 CTA Cooling Buses at various Chicago Public Schools locations. Residents can view locations and details for all cooling resources here or by calling 3-1-1.
To provide families an opportunity to cool off while playing at the park, the Chicago Park District is also activating splash pads from Tuesday, July 7 through Friday, July 10. Park District employees will monitor the splash pads to ensure families are safely social distancing while finding relief from the extreme heat. Residents can find splash pad locations here.
To assist some of Chicago’s most vulnerable populations, such as homeless individuals, seniors and people with disabilities, the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Fire Department and DFSS and its delegate agencies are conducting wellness checks and outreach to ensure residents are aware of the City's designated cooling centers.
Residents are also encouraged to check on relatives, neighbors and friends during the next few days. If you are unable to make contact, you can request a wellbeing check by downloading the CHI311 app, visiting 311.chicago.gov, or calling 3-1-1.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. A heatstroke is more serious and occurs when the body starts to lose its ability to regulate itself. The telltale signs of a heatstroke are:
If you see someone suffering from heatstroke, call 9-1-1 immediately and then try to move the person into a cool place and cool the person with water.
Additional emergency preparedness information and tips are available on OEMC’s website: chicago.gov/oemc. For timely updates and other information, follow OEMC on Twitter via the handle @ChicagoOEMC and sign up for free emergency alerts at NotifyChicago.org.